Teaching figures that don't add up
According to a report by John Walshe, the latest Department of Education and Science projections show far greater than expected student enrolments over the next 20 years; and the Higher Education Authority says it agrees with the projections, given the population growth and increased demand in higher education (Irish Independent, March 3).
Clearly, Education Minister Batt O'Keeffe is taking this report seriously as his spokesman said the minister was "rising to the challenge of projected enrolments", and so on. Interpolating the trend lines (in the chart accompanying the article) for primary, secondary and higher levels for the year 2015 (remember this date!) shows an overall increase in numbers of around 100,000 by that date. At a conservative estimate, this will necessitate the employment of around 4,000 additional teachers (and lecturers). So good news for teachers, right? Maybe.
In the same edition, a report by John Walshe and Ailish O'Hora heralded the publication of the FAS/ESRI Occupational Employment Forecast 2015.